The Sisterhood

It has become an annual event in my home to have a brunch to mark International Women’s Day. This year I marked it a little late, but still a precious few hours when my home was buzzing with ladies chatting and laughing, looking great and full of warmth and generosity. A great bunch of ladies from the many walks of my life all mixing with each other and marking a very special occasion – just being us.

All the invitees were women who play some role in my life; friendly, intelligent and gorgeous women.

Women of all ages, all sizes and all so different.

Women defined by their status or their interests or their careers or their place in their home.

They are mothers, daughters, sisters, sister in laws, mother in laws, friends, neighbours, friends through friends, old colleagues, school friends, school mums, pitch side soccer mums.

They are ladies who I confide in, ladies who I laugh with, ladies who I trust my children with, ladies whose advise I ask, ladies who offer help. ladies whose clothes or items I borrow, ladies who have wiped my tears, ladies who have helped me grow as a mum, ladies who have encouraged me, ladies whose company I just enjoy being in, ladies who I can to chat to non stop, ladies who are always at the end of the phone, ladies who I admire.

Some are entrepreneurs, some are teachers, some work in catering, media, software. Some work in beauty, fitness, nutrition and well being. Some are administrators, accountants and guards. Some work in media, in charity, the medical profession; some work with children with special needs and some who work in palliative care.

Some are homemakers, full time carers, child minders.

There are those whose talents define them as bakers, musicians, artists, knitters, seamstresses, interior decorators.

They are a mix of single ladies, in relationships, married, divorcees. They are mothers, stepmothers, aunts and even the odd grandmother. They are all daughters. They are all my friends.

There are those who have suffered miscarriages. Those who have had issues with fertility. Those who have no children. Those who have adopted. Those who want children. Those who struggle as mothers. Those who mother effortlessly.

There are those who have faced health issues. Those who have buried loved ones. Those who suffer financially.

Those who have been made redundant. Those who are on benefit. Those who are self employed. Those who are retired.

Those who have climbed the career ladder and sacrificed. Those who have sacrificed the career ladder to follow other dreams.

Those who have built houses. Those who are in a big house but riddled with negative equity. Those on rent allowance. Those who are thinking of downsizing.

There are those who have cars. Those who cannot drive. Those who just like to walk.

Those who like to chat. Those who like to listen. Those who are happy to chat to anybody. Those who prefer a small group.

There are those who like working out. Those who like to wear heels and make up. Those who are passionate about sport. There are those who love a politic debate. Those who love to read. Those who like to dance. Those who like to sing loudly. Those who just like to tap their feet.

All of these women are strong. All of these women are wonderful. All of these women are a welcome addition to my world.

There is no single characteristic that defines being a women. No one woman stands out alone. We are all very different. We are all original.

We compliment each other’s existence and we can comfortably interlink.

On marking International Women’s Day, I am proud to be a woman, to rear a young woman and to have many women in my life.

Here’s to many many more brunches listening to the sound of chatting and laugher!

This years brunch was in aid of the Niall Mellon Foundation and we raised a whopping €300+ so thank you all very much. 


“Come and see what we have done!”

photo copy 4Starting the week on a new motto I went to bed with the house cleaned, uniforms laid out, everything sorted. It was slightly unsettling this morning when I heard whispers in my slumber…’You bring in all the teddies and I’ll get our duvets’ I thought I heard. Oh no! What were the two monkeys up to? If they are not fighting they are usually quietly scheming.

I could hear things being dragged, lots of giggles and quiet whispers ‘put it here!’ ‘Oh that’s a great idea!’ Then I was beckoned. ‘Muuuummmmm, come and find us!’

I took a big deep breath and tiptoed into the spare room. There, underneath three duvets, six pillows, cushions from the couch, two suitcases, a pile of books, 100’s of teddies, two mattresses, and lots of other building materials were my two little monkeys. ‘Look mum! Look what we have made!’ said one voice. ‘Come into our den!’ said the other voice.

The two little faces looked up at me, so excited and proud of their work, their eyes full of eagerness and desperate for my approval. A big deep breath. With all my motherly power I pushed down any niggling exasperation of the chaos they had, in fairness, unconsciously made, and tried to focus on their imagination and creativity.

‘Wow guys!’

A silent internal OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? ‘wow’ for me and an approving happy ‘wow’ for them. When I looked around their creation they had built a great Den and for that moment, albeit brief, they were playing nicely together and having fun. How could I find fault?  Sibling camaraderie is rare and childhood is all about being creative and imaginative isn’t it? photo copy 3

I decided to take up their offer and I crawled inside. Their delight was contagious. We huddled under, squashed but cosy and I stayed for a cup of tea. Then… the grown up, the time watcher, the realist, the mum had to go and be a parent ‘come on guys we have to get moving and get ready for school!’Boooooooooooooo to being a parent. I wanted to stay in there for just ‘one more minute’ too.

“Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again!”

What is is about the sound of children giggling and laughing that warms the heart and tickles the soul?  It is a magical sound thats inviting and contagious. I envy their lack of self consciousness. My laugh has got me into so much trouble over the years.  It’s loud and hysterical and when I start to really laugh I lose complete control. It’s so great to get the giggles but as you get older adult laughing seems to have rules; no guffawing, no snorting and physical actions are just not an acceptable etiquette. Perhaps that’s why I love the freedom little ones have when they laugh. It’s straight from the belly with gusto and freedom.
Today I heard three little ladies laughing, mine being the 4 year old with two six year olds. My little lady has definitely inherited my big, loud laugh but unlike me she lets it all go and laughs as loud as she likes. She will fall over and lie on the floor laughing or bend right over holding her stomach and rock forward and back. She laughs the way real laughter should be laughed, physically and full of emotion. No matter how challenging she has been I always find myself smiling and laughing right there with her.
Today two older girls were teaching her ‘Hey, Mr Postman’. She was completely in awe of the older girls and was delighted to be playing an older girls game. As I studied her face and her animated expressions, she was very busy concentrating, studying the older girls, mimicking their actions and regurgeting their words. She took it all in her stride, and her mix ups of the words or actions were covered up by her squeals of delights ‘Lets do it again! Let’s do it again!’ The girls repeated their game over and over, giggling and laughing and falling on the floor with little missy right in the thick of it. They only stopped when they were wrecked and when it went quiet I peeped in to see three exhausted bodies lying in a pile with big, smiling faces, full of content. Wouldn’t it be great to just let go like that every few days and do the same?